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About me

What is relational, integrative counselling?

Our relationships to others are how we make sense of the world, and ourselves. Central to our work together will be the relationship you and I can build together; one that I hope will be safe, collaborative, and genuine. We can use this relationship as a lens through which to view the other relationships in your life; both with others and with yourself.

Over time, we learn different ‘roles’ and ways of being that we inhabit, depending on who we are around. These serve a purpose, but it can make it hard to know who we truly are.

One of the principal theories of humanistic counselling is that if you can show the hidden parts of yourself to someone who will accept and respect you, you will in turn learn to accept and respect yourself. This doesn’t mean I will never challenge you, or experiment with looking at a situation in a different way, but it does mean that I will aim to create a space in which you feel heard and understood, and where your agency and autonomy are held in high regard.

How does this influence how we will work together?

Something that is hugely integral to the way I work is a stance of non-judgemental, open curiosity. I want to learn about how you see the world, and what it is like for you to inhabit; I am not here to 'fix' you (for a start, you are not broken!), pathologize you, or reduce you to a label or a set of symptoms. We are all unique individuals, who have developed 'creative adjustments'; survival strategies for navigating our environment. Sometimes, it is useful for us to examine these strategies to see if they are still serving us.

If you are having difficult emotions, are struggling with a decision, or have experienced an event that is causing you distress or confusion, having someone to talk to who is external to the situation can be invaluable. Because I don't have a pre-existing relationship with you, such as a friend or family member might have, I can listen to you without having my own prior opinions on you or your situation.

What to expect from your first session

I know how daunting the act of coming to counselling can be. If this is your first experience of therapy, you may not know what to expect, or feel overwhelmed by the volume of counsellors and various jargons a search on this site has brought you; if you are a returning client, you may feel exhausted at the idea of telling your story all over again. For this reason, I offer a discounted first session that can be taken at your pace. This is charged at £35 for 50 minutes. During this session, you will have the chance to ask any questions you might have about me and how I work, and we will get the chance to get to know each other a little. I will ask you some questions about what has led you to seek out therapy at this time, and some questions to assess our suitability for working together.

Finding the right counsellor shares a similarity with all relationships; not everyone is right for everyone, and finding the person who 'gets you' is imperative. If at the end of our first session, you or I decide I am not the right fit for you, I will be happy to offer any help I can in finding someone who is.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a fully qualified, integrative counsellor, who works relationally, with an emphasis on humanistic, psychodynamic & gestalt perspectives. Being integrative means that I draw from a few different schools of psychotherapeutic thought, in order to tailor the experience of therapy to fit the individual needs of each client.​

Whatever it is that has brought you to therapy at this time, we will work together at a safe pace, forming a collaborative relationship of trust, honesty and respect, with you at the helm.

Experience

I have experience working with a variety of client issues, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression & Low Mood
  • Self-Esteem/ Self-Worth Issues & Shame
  • Body Dysmorphia/ Food Issues
  • Relational/ Attachment Issues
  • Loneliness
  • Workplace Difficulties
  • Family Problems
  • Trauma
  • IVF & Fertility Complications
  • Miscarriage
  • Bereavement, Grief and Loss
  • Relationship Breakdown
  • Feeling 'Stuck'

Training & Qualifications

I gained my Level 5 Diploma in Counselling at the University of the West of England, graduating in 2018.

Volunteer Experience

I currently volunteer for Maybe Southwest alongside running my private practice.

I have previously volunteered at The Sanctuary, a centre run by St. Mungo's in Bristol, which functions as a place of safety for people experiencing extreme emotional distress.

I also have 2 years experience working in a voluntary capacity as a counsellor to NHS staff.

Member organisations

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Therapies offered

  • Gestalt therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Other therapies
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

Fees

  • An introductory session is charged at £35 for 50 minutes
  • Weekly sessions after this currently take place online and are charged at £50 per 50 minutes
  • I may have some daytime sessions available for a lower rate, dependent on availability

I have a few concessionary places as I know that the cost of coming to counselling can be a huge barrier to access. Please do message me and check my availability with this, and we can try to come to an arrangement.

Concessions offered for

  • Keyworkers
  • Low income
  • Unemployed

Further information

As a registered member of the BACP, I adhere to their ethical framework, and I hold the values of integrity, accountability and client autonomy highly in my work. I have a strong commitment to the client and to my own continued professional development, learning, and challenging myself. I hold professional indemnity and personal liability insurance, am registered with the ICO, and attend regular monthly supervision.​

As a member of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, I have a commitment to recognising the impact of the political dimension on the client-therapist relationship, and to identifying and challenging adverse discrimination at all levels, both within the profession of counselling and the wider world. What this means in practice is that I will seek to locate your issues not just in the personal sphere but in their wider social, political ecological and economic context.

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language
Other languages None

Availability

Tuesdays & Wednesdays 11am-9pm
Some Sunday & Friday sessions

Types of client

Adults
Helen May, MBACP, Prof. Dip.

Helen May, MBACP, Prof. Dip.